North America

NLRB Rebalances Employers’ Rights to Prohibit Union Solicitation on Their Property

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in UPMC overturned 38-year old precedent and held that employers may lawfully prohibit non-employee union solicitation in public spaces on their property absent evidence of discriminatory enforcement. This ruling may seem like common sense to many as employers have long been permitted to control what types of activities occur on their private property in other contexts.  However, for the past four decades, the NLRB has compelled employers to allow non-employee union organizers to engage in non-disruptive solicitation in areas, such as cafeterias and restaurants, where the Employer had opened its private property to the public.  The NLRB’s ruling in UPMC ends this compelled acquiesce and affirms employers’ property rights.

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Massachusetts Sets New Deadlines and Contribution Rates for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, and Anticipates Further Changes

As we previously reported, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) recently extended the deadline for employers to provide notice to employees of their rights and obligations under the State’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) law. Subsequently, on June 11, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, state Senate President Karen Spilka, and state House Speaker Robert DeLeo released a joint statement announcing that implementation of certain aspects of the PFML program are being pushed back, and that “technical changes” will be adopted to clarify the program. Thereafter, on June 14, 2019, the DFML released a notice on its website confirming one substantive revision along with several procedural revisions to the PFML program, including the following:

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U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Rules That California Wage-And-Hour Laws Do Not Apply to Drilling Workers off California Coast

On June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and unanimously held that California state wage-and-hour laws do not apply to drilling workers off the coast of California.

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It has finally arrived! The modifications to the Trade-marks Act come into force on June 17

In January, Richard Udistky had issued recommendations as to steps which could be taken in the interval. He now reminds trademark owners of the new reality that they will have to face.

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Employment Law This Week: Extended Podcast Edition – June 2019

In its new podcast series, Employment Law This Week has released an extended Monthly Rundown, discussing some of the most important developments for employers in June 2019.

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New Jersey Appellate Division Panels Reach Different Conclusions on the Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements that are Exempt from Coverage under the FAA

Earlier this year, in New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira, 586 U.S. __, 139 S. Ct 532 (2019), the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) does not apply to arbitration agreements with independent contractors who are engaged in interstate commerce.  The Supreme Court did not address whether such agreements could be enforced through other laws.

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Employment insurance: Julie Forest secures a remarkable decision from the Tax Court of Canada

June 11, 2019 — Television production requires numerous workers, in different trades, whose services can be required for a few hours or several weeks. In all this diversity, what criteria will help decide which workers are insurable under paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Employment Insurance Act?

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Companies Using Video Interviewing Beware: New Obligations for Positions Based in Illinois

Increasingly companies are using third-party digital hiring platforms to recruit and select job applicants.  These products, explicitly or implicitly, promise to reduce or eliminate the bias of hiring managers in making selection decisions.  Instead, the platforms grade applicants based on a variety of purportedly objective factors.  For example, a platform may scan thousands of resumes and select applicants based on education level, work experience, or interests, or rank applicants based on their performance on an aptitude test – whatever data point(s) the platform has been trained to evaluate based on the job opening.

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Sexual harassment at work: Ted Goloff co-author of an international compilation

The International Lawyers Network announced the release of the latest edition of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know, a compilation of brief descriptions of the rules on sexual harassment at work in some 20 jurisdictions. Theodore Goloff wrote the paper on Quebec legislation.

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The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Court Holds That All Those New Non-Compete Rules under Massachusetts Act Do Not Supplant Old Public Policies Applicable To Pre-Existing Agreements

When Massachusetts enacted the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (“MNCA”) in mid-2018, many suggested then and thereafter that such statutes reflected an anti-employer tilt in public policy. But we advised at that time that the MNCA in fact appeared to present manageable options for sophisticated employers advised by knowledgeable counsel.   A recent federal court decision from the District of Massachusetts in Nuvasive Inc. v. Day and Richard, 19-cv-10800 (D. Mass. May 29, 2019), supports our earlier read, and belies the notion that Massachusetts courts see the Commonwealth’s policy requiring application of its own law to pre-existing non-competes.  So despite the fear that the statute would eliminate multi-state employers’ ability to rely on more favorable non-Massachusetts law when enforcing restrictive covenants, the Nuvasive court’s result and analysis gives employers hope that such fears were overblown.

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